Brick, Stafford, Southern Regional Schools announce shut down amid Covid-19 concerns
Brick, Stafford and Southern Regionals schools are among the latest reporting that their buildings will shut down for at least two weeks.
Red Bank Regional, Hazlet, Toms River Regional, Central Regional, Berkeley Township, Jackson, Barnegat and Pinelands Regional Schools are among the Jersey Shore and New Jersey school districts closing down to do a deep clean of their facilities as well as keep everyone safe and prevent the virus from spreading.
Brick Township Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Farrell said he spoke with the Executive County Superintendent as well as the Ocean County Health Department on the increased activity of the Coronavirus and as such they will be closing schools Monday, March 16th and anticipate being closed through Friday, March 27th.
"However, we will evaluate weekly and update all accordingly. We will be implementing our home instruction remote learning preparedness plan in an effort to be proactive in combating the spread of this virus. This plan will go into effect Monday, March 16th and will remain in place until school reopens," Farrell said.
He said further information regarding the remote learning plan will be made available to parents via Blackboard and the District website by Monday, March 16th.
Here is the full letter from Dr. Farrell:
Parents/Guardians, Faculty/Staff, and Community:
The information surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is evolving rapidly.
This unprecedented situation requires us to make decisions in real time as we respond to the most current public health crisis guidance.
Given the Governor’s message on the inevitability of directed school closings, and after consultation with the Executive County Superintendent as well as the Ocean County Health Department on the increased activity of the Coronavirus; we will be closing schools Monday, March 16 and anticipate being closed through Friday, March 27 .
However, we will evaluate weekly and update all accordingly.
We will be implementing our home instruction remote learning preparedness plan in an effort to be proactive in combating the spread of this virus.
This plan will go into effect Monday, March 16th will remain in place until school reopens.
Further information regarding the remote learning plan will be made available to parents via Blackboard and the District website by Monday, March 16 .
I cannot stress enough that the intent of the school closure is to adhere to guidelines
urging us to avoid large gatherings of 250+ people and promote practicing social distancing; thereby limiting the spread of the Coronavirus to the high-risk populations.
Although no one in our school community has tested positive for the Coronavirus at this time, we recognize that we have a potential health risk and a community responsibility.
The positive is that we are prepared with a remote instruction plan.
Administration will make any needed adjustments to this plan.
During this time, schools will be closed to all activities for a thorough cleaning to take place.
This time should be used for continued learning.
Communication from the New Jersey Department of Education expressed an expectation for school districts to sustain and continue learning for the undetermined period of closure. Students are expected to engage in their instruction on a regular basis.
Assignments will be monitored and faculty will be available via remote communication.
In addition to virtual instruction vehicles (i.e., Google Classroom, etc.), physical packets consisting of materials and resources will be prepared for our younger learners and students who lack access.
As per the NJDOE, related and compensatory services such as OT/PT, Speech, etc., cannot be provided through this remote home instruction.
However, to assist students in maintaining skills already developed, related service providers will be available via remote communication to share at-home supplemental activities that students can complete.
Administrators, faculty, CST members, counselors, nurses, etc. will be available to communicate with students and parents via email.
We will continue to work closely with officials and we will continue to update you through email and on our District webpage.
We all need to do our part in order to help put an end to the spread of this virus.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all work together through these trying times.
May you, your family, and the entire community stay safe and healthy.
Here is the letter to parents from Stafford Superintendent George Chidiac:
Southern Regional Board of Ed Member Joe Mangino reports the their district has closed as well. Here is a statement from the Southern BOE:
"From the outset of the ever evolving COVID-19 world health event, the Southern Regional School District has been closely monitoring the situation, evaluating our practices, and preparing for potential impacts to our students, staff and the educational process. Below is some information we wish to share for the purpose of keeping you informed.
Facility Cleaning Procedures
The Southern Regional School District has implemented aggressive cleaning and sanitizing procedures that are utilized each year during flu season and are currently being followed.
These procedures include:
- daily cleaning and disinfection of all touch points in the district including, but not limited to, doors, water fountain/bottle fillers, stair railings and lockers
- daily cleaning and disinfection of all desks
- daily cleaning and disinfection of all common areas such as cafeterias, libraries andgymnasiums
- daily cleaning and disinfection of all bathrooms and locker rooms
- daily disinfection of all school busses.In addition, all facilities staff continue to sanitize and inspect bathrooms several times per shift for cleanliness and the availability of soap. All of the chemicals and procedures used by the district for cleaning and disinfection meet or exceed the current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The district will continue to monitor guidance from both the CDC and the EPA as well as the NJ Department of Health and will modify our procedures as necessary based on issued guidance.School Closing
The New Jersey Department of Health and the Ocean County Department of Health are the agencies that have the authority to close school. Should that directive be given, Southern Regional is prepared to continue the educational process via online learning activities facilitated by the students’ classroom teachers. The New Jersey Department of Education has informed us that should school be closed due to a mandated health directive, virtual home instruction will qualify toward the statutory 180 day school year.
Access to instruction for all students will be provided by way of Google Classroom which is already in use by our current staff and students. Students who do not have computer access are being identified and alternative instructional resources will be provided. Daily instructional units will be published by teachers and virtual learning activities will be maintained throughout the closure. Teachers are currently working with students to establish the online learning procedures and protocols and will continue this preparation during the next few school days. Administrative access to each classroom’s module will provide accountability, monitoring and technological support. Graduation requirements have been well established at this point of the school year, and twelfth grade student progress specific to graduation requirements will be monitored by guidance counselors throughout any closure.
Special Needs Students
Special education services will be provided as is practicable. Cognitive learning activities will be provided for as per the Virtual Instruction information above. Special services (ie. occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, et al.) that require one-to-one interactions will be provided on a recovery basis when normal school resumes.
Free and Reduced Lunch Students
The District’s food service provider, Pomptonian, has developed a breakfast and lunch “grab- and-go” program in which the school cafeteria will serve as the food preparation area where qualifying students will be given the opportunity to come into the school and pick-up pre- prepared meals.
There is a moratorium on approving new trip requests. Trips that have already been approved are being evaluated and a “go, no-go” decision is being made on a case-by-case basis.
Personal Protection Measures
The New Jersey Department of Health has published the below listed guidelines for students and staff to follow while school is in session.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough and sneeze into your sleeve, not your hands.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing or sneezing. Use alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
- Stay home from class and work if you’re sick.
- Avoid people who are sick.
- Get a flu shot – it’s not too late to be protected.
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